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One Pakistan

Published Date: Feb 14, 2012


Cooperation between Pakistan and India can turn the climate change threat into opportunity for ensuring peace and prosperity in both countries as well as in South Asian region, said delegates from two countries.
Speaking at Pakistan, India Track II Dialogue on (Climate) Change for Peace here Monday, they called for continuous dialogue to devise a regional strategy to deal with existential threat of climate change, provide participatory and policy-oriented assessment of environment, natural resources and their implications for South Asia. It is organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) & Center for Science & Environment (CSE), India with support of Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS). It prompts to develop actionable agenda for climate change in Pakistan & India in water, energy, gender, climate change adaptation, livelihood aiming at normalizing relations between India & Pakistan by engaging experts, civil society representatives.
Dr Ishfaq Ahmad, Advisor Planning Commission of Pakistan on Climate Change & Development said Pakistan & India face common adversaries in shape of climate change that needs collective response to deal with it. “We must at least narrow down gap particularly on water, if not on all issues, institutionalize, devise appropriate strategies for climate change adaptation.”
Britta Peterson, Country Director HBS Pakistan urged delegates to take advantage of this platform and come up with new, practical ideas.  Gravity of situation needs efforts to carve out realistic roadmap for Indo-Pak collaboration on combating climate change, provide comprehensive, policy-relevant, science-based assessment of environment in South Asia to policy maker.
Shafqat Kakakhel, Senior Advisor SDPI & Former Deputy Executive Director UNEP stressed need of collaboration between India, Pakistan and South Asian countries on climate change. Pakistan & India must discuss, explore vistas of cooperation on climate change as both have integrated ecological system with shared natural resources. Only regional cooperation can help address existential threats of climate change. Water availability in the region is highly susceptible due to climate change which affects glacial melt and monsoon system that feeds rivers. He felt SAARC can be instrumental and must serve as principle vehicle for sub-regional cooperation on issues related to environment, climate change, socio-economic development. Harneit Sievers Country Director HBS India said dialogue on climate change between two countries is essential to systematically improve relations and particularly discuss issues where both countries have a common position.
Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Senior Research Associate, SDPI said track-II dialogue aims to provide platform for experts and people across the border to discuss possibilities for cooperation under climate change regime with joint research-policy-action and sharing of technology, knowledge and experiences.
Sanjay Vashist, Program Advisor Climate Change, Heinrich Boll Foundation, India Office said, climate change threat can be converted in to opportunity through effective bilateral talks, coordination between two countries. Climate change poses serious threats to development process in South Asia. “We must need to move ahead leaving behind minor differences to benefit of billions of people in South Asia.”